The work of youth service professionals is cross-disciplinary, requiring knowledge and skills that cut across the fields of workforce development, youth development, education, counseling, and disability services. As a result, programs of study and existing professional certifications in any one of these fields can equip youth service professionals with some, but not all of the competencies they need to be effective. For this reason, it is necessary to develop a comprehensive career pathway and professional development system that specifically addresses the training needs of our nation’s youth service professionals.
This InfoBrief identifies the benefits to the workforce development system, youth, and the community gained through the professional development of youth service professionals. The brief includes a five-step plan for organizations interested in supporting the professional development of youth service professionals.